Giorgio Armani SpA and Reebok International Ltd. have teamed up to create a cobranded EA7 and Emporio Armani/Reebok collection.

This story first appeared in the January 19, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The line, which includes apparel and sneakers that blend style and innovative technology, made its debut during the Emporio Armani fall show in Milan on Saturday. In July, it will be available globally in Emporio Armani boutiques and select Reebok concept stores and retailers.

“Today, sportswear and activewear have become really important parts of our wardrobes,” said the designer. “I wanted to offer my customers the possibility of wearing sports clothes that were stylish and comfortable. My new alliance with Reebok is a natural consequence of this philosophy.”

Uli Becker, president of Reebok International, a unit of Adidas, said the collaboration “offers a new perspective for the design-minded, fashion-conscious, active consumer.”

In a separate development Friday regarding Reebok, Collective Brands Inc. said it would purchase the activewear firm’s Above the Rim basketball brand for an undisclosed sum.

Collective Licensing International, the brand-building arm of the Payless ShoeSource parent, said it will add the acquisition to its youth lifestyle portfolio, already home to board sports labels such as Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, Sims and Lamar.

“ATR fits nicely with the CLI business model and team, which is focused on youth lifestyle and athletic brands inspired by music, street fashion and West Coast lifestyle activities like board sports and others,” said Matt Rubel, chief executive officer of Collective Brands.

ATR began as a basketball and streetwear label in the late Eighties and includes footwear, apparel and accessories.

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